Page localizations. Beware to Duplicate Content and Google Penalizations

Several Companies offer the same Service or Product in different cities. The page content would be very similar for each city and could appear as duplicated in most cases. Duplicate content is not a Google best practice and some penalizations could appear reducing the whole website traffic.  So how to best practice and avoid Google penalization?

This is the Argument of a Dumb Seo Questions that I proposed to the Google Plus Community Seo Questions. Several SEO experts moderated by the Founder Jim Munro have answered to my question. You can see below the full Hangout discussing several SEO Questions including mine.

Content is the Master 

In order to avoid penalizations the answer is just one: write unique content! Or better: uniquely localize each service/product city page in order to obtain a unique content page.

There are at least 2 benefits to write localized unique content for each city / service:
  1. Avoid Google penalizations for duplicate page content
  2. Better competitive SEO local pages. 

How to write SEO targetized local pages

  • Look at your local competitors.
  • Choose the right local Keywords. For example if are dealing with Solar panel installation it could happen that the search traffic volume for city A is higher for the keyword "PV Systems" while the most searched keyword for the city B would be "Solar Panels". One of the tool that can help to choose the best local keyword is the Google Keyword Planner.
  • Add testimonials
  • Use immagination!

What happens if the cities are thousands and you would need to create thousands pages?

Unfortunately you have to provide unique content for each page even if they are thousands!
As you know the way to success is hard and rough!

The only suggestion I can give you is to group several pages to reduce the number.

The Dumb SEO discussion and Hangout

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • W.E. Jonk: If you cannot provide any unique high quality content I wouldn't create it.
  • RoxBlog Rox: Hi +W.E. Jonk ; ;They are landing pages. I already created few, not all just to try and they are first page in SERP for the right keyword. But since the page should be thousands i'm aware!
  • Manikanta Reddy Doragacharla: Hi
    I have dout reg. G plus
    For my G Plus a/c how many pages can i create ?
  • W.E. Jonk+RoxBlog Rox ;I do understand that when you look at your competitors that you see that they are creating pages targeting specific cities. By itself this isn't a problem. However if the different city pages are more or less duplicates, then it might not be best practise. And that is how I read your post: Duplicating a page, change the URL and instead of mentioning city A you swap that for city B.

    The problem with that is that you are creating doorway pages. Google defines doorway pages as:

    Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. [1]

    What low-quality is or how much is a large set I don't know but you are taking a risk.

    Besides the manual thing you might get hit by Panda. That is, if you have many low-quality pages your whole site might see a reduce in the rankings. Panda was especially designed for publisher to:

    not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals [2]

    There are probably more things one can mention but I showed you why G might not appreciate this practise from the Guidelines point a view and from an algo point a view. ;

    [1] ;
    [2] ;
  • RoxBlog Rox+W.E. Jonk ;thank you for your comprehensive explanation. But in this case I'm really not using a trick. I really need those pages. They are not poor quality but Google can interpret them as duplicate. I will find a different solution in order to do not get a penalization. Thanks
  • W.E. Jonk: What you can do is having unique content for the cities you are targeting. For example customer testimonies or work that you did in that particular city. If you have an office you can set up Google Places or other listings. You can also do a special offer. ;

    In general try to create additional value for people from a particular city. Why should they land on the city targeted page instead of a generic product page?
  • RoxBlog Rox: ok. Thank you Very much. I will try to implement it. ;
  • Justin Y+RoxBlog Rox also maybe talk about your service compared to others that offer the same service. What separates you from them? What more can you provide or touch base on what others do not provide that might be unique. Look at the trends and check the queries space for the cities you're trying to target to see how should be optimizing for each city. Run each page through copyscape to avoid duplicate content when you're finished creating each targeted page. 
  • RoxBlog Rox: Hi +Justin Y ;thank you for the advice and for let me know copyscape. I checked one the pages I have already online and it results no copy ware found online. This sounds good for me! :-) Anyway in some City i'm not on first page Serp so I planned to focus more on the content of those pages in order to improve positioning. For your reference I post 2 links to different cities in order you can see what are differences between city pages. Bari page
    Cosenza page ;
Justin Y: You're welcome. It's going to be a bit of a challenge to get on the top of SERPs because of local results and how Google treats them. You can break some ground if your domain has some good authority but also know that people might be paying for clicks as well through SEM, especially if its ecommerce. 

Dumb SEO Hangout


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